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Hotshots: Mystical Fairytale Forest Photograph


In this series, we present a look-book of authentic photographs collected by the writers and editors here at Envato Tuts+. We hope these pictures inspire ideas, help kindle new projects, and give you a better understanding of visual communication.

Today's Image: Mystical autumn forest in yellow fog. This image is by den-belitsky and it's available on Envato Elements.

Mystical autumn forest in yellow fog
Mystical autumn forest in yellow fog

A Closer Look at This Image

This is an ethereal, almost illustration like photograph. Sometimes heavy processing can ruin an image, but I think in this case, it makes it—let’s look at why.


Without a doubt, autumn colours are pleasing to the eye, and a carpet of leaves on a forest floor makes for a really striking image. The colours here have, without a doubt, been enhanced and weighted towards warm tones, as you’d expect—red, gold and orange. There might have even been some split-toning here. As much as we imagine autumn leaves to look like this, generally they're more brown and yellow than this deep, golden orange.

Even the fog in the background has a yellow tinge to it, which adds to the picture but probably wasn’t visible at the time.

Depth of Field and Sharpness

We can see a very definite sharp line, partly created by the slight hill the photographer is standing on, but most likely sharpened to heighten its effect.

Sharpening your image not only brings out details and makes everything look crisper, but it can also help you pull your audiences’ eye to a particular part of the picture. In this case, the foreground is emphasized. Some photographers even slightly blur the background to exaggerate this effect.

Perspective and Composition

The three foreground trees work nicely to pull your gaze upwards. We see just enough of the forest to get a sense of its depth and height but there’s enough light coming through that it doesn’t feel oppressive: it’s cosy and almost something you’d see illustrated in a fairytale.

The 'hill' on which the trees are standing cuts a nice, uneven line through the bottom third of the picture which reflects the organised-disorder of the forest.

Reading a Photograph

We'd love to hear your take on this photograph, and if you're not sure where to begin, then How to Read a Photograph will get you started with how to analyse photography. Mostly, it's just saying what you see and how you feel about an image!


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